Monday, October 27, 2014

"liquid SUNSHINE"

 The subject in this email pretty much says it all. We had a wet week you could say. Summer is defiantly gone which is super sad:( but FALL is wonderful and the rain is on its way for the next couple months. That's it for the weather forecast. We had such an amazing, eventful week in Ferndale. So many wonderful people to talk to and meet, and we are in the stages right now of trying to build more and more of people to teach. Door to door we go and there have been so many large and small miracles. This is the Lords work and he knows the hearts and minds of this good people in Washington. For instance this week we were able to meet with Elizabeth who a couple weeks ago no longer wanted to meet, but for some reason she changed her mind. We were able to teach her about the Plan of Salvation this week and it was powerful. At first we were sort of just going through the motions of teaching and then it slowed down for a second, a question was asked and the spirit filled the room with her response and from that moment on we had an amazing lesson with her. It ended with her asking if we could now come back twice a week! WOOT WOOT. total miracle. Then later that week we had a church tour with her where we were able to commit her to a baptism date! I have such a strong testimony about the spirit that is in the church. It is there where we are able to receive guidance from our father in heaven, but it is our choice to listen. Which is something that can be hard at times. We have so much going on in our daily lives that we are quick to forget and to listen to what it is that God would have us do or say. Every day I rely fully upon the spirit because without it I really could do nothing.

  Thursday night we were able to meet with the Carlson family with our Bishop. I don't know if I had had the chance to talk much about the bishop in the Ferndale ward... but Bishop Clark is AMAZING. He is so willing to help us out, and gives us such great advice in order for us to become better. We are here in this life to continue to change and to grow and that requires us to stretch a little bit and sometimes that may be challenging, but that is the time when Heavenly Father is allowing us to become something greater and something better! Anyways, he came with us to our appointment with them and it went great. We were able to finally sit down with the whole family.

 Last story that I wanted to share. HIGHLIGHT OF MY ENTIRE WEEK!!!!!

 Here we are late Saturday night..7:30 hahah okay not really that late but it was dark, and pouring rain and we were out biking. We were biking to our last person to see that had canceled on us the night before. It had been a very long day and we were drenched from head to toe. I could no longer feel practically anything and it got so bad that my skirt was so heavy that I had to continue to ring it out! We hurried and biked over there.. we were stopped at a stoplight and we turned to each other and just started to laugh. WE LOOKED RIDICULOUS I prayed and prayed that something good or just something would happen. WE locked up our bikes and ran to the small apartment where we hoped Layla would be. we knocked.... nothing happened. NOOOO I thought to myself... then we waited. Patience. She swung the door opened and to our surprise she looked at us and said.... "YES I was HOPING that was you 2"! it led to the best lesson every with her. She began to tell us that she prayed about what we had asked her to pray about and she had the best 2 days after she had done that!

I just want you to all know how much I love it here. Every hard moment, wonderful moment, refreshing moment, spiritual moment is all so worth it. It is for certain that I wouldn't be able to do any of this without the help of the Lord. I know he lives and it is a honor to represent him. I love you all. Thank you for all that you do!
love Sister Norton:)

p.s. I read a really good talk this week by Elder Holland and I wanted to share just a little something from it.

"The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him"


Monday, October 20, 2014

October....the beautiful colors:) It's still green here

Hello hello! This week has been quite a roller coaster of just everything. We went all the way down to the mission office for transfers on Tuesday to say our goodbyes and receive our new companions. drum roll.... here we gooooooo
SISTER Garn. She has been out for 8 months, is from Springville UTAH and went to Utah State. so...... she knows Erika and Erik. yep. Things like this ALWAYS happen. I guess they were a big deal up at Utah State or something:) haha 

 We were so blessed with so many awesome tender mercies this past. Little miracle here. Little miracle there. The Lord has been blessing this area and these people so much! As we continue to do our part he does his and its amazing to see! I love it. On Wednesday we were maybe just a tiny bit spoiled by our mission president. We were having Zone Conference and it was super great and then our mission president got back up to instruct us again and he paused for a moment and said... "we will now have the honor to watch.... MEET THE MORMONS" jaw dropped. A MOVIE? what the... It was so great and it also felt just a tiny bit weird but I loved it. It was cool to be in a room full of missionaries watching it together. It was a spiritually exhausting day. That's how I would like to put it. Feeling the presence of the Holy ghost and the love that heavenly father has for us. Gods love is perfect and it is so individual to each person. ISN'T THAT AWESOME! 

 This week we had the coolest opportunity to teach the Carlson family. I am pretty sure I talked about them last week, but this week we were able to tech them a couple times and it was POWERFUL! The dad is a returning member and his children are not members. as we were teaching them this week.... ahhhhh i really just cant describe the emotion and power that was in the home as we taught about the restoration of the gospel and the book of Mormon. It was a moment and experience that will always hold a special place in my heart. Franklin and Matthew are the best. They are so engaged in our lessons and they want to learn more and more. It was even cooler when the dad got up I the middle.. grabbed his scriptures... flipped them open and started looking through them. As he became more and more engaged the spirit became more present. 
  We attended a CSFY(come see for yourself) fireside last night. is put on by our mission President in different areas of our mission. It was so neat because it gives non members a perfect chance to come into our building and to see what we are all about. There are a couple speakers, some short video clips and then a couple musical performances. my zone actually sang in it. It was cool to look out and see everyone that was there. There were about 200 people! The church is true. I know it. I know that conversion is something that we must continue to work on. Scripture study is important and it can and it will draw us closer to GOD. I love the scriptures. I love this gospel and all that it entails. eternal life! 
love you all so much! 

love sister norton:)

Monday, October 13, 2014

miracle after miracle after miracle and.... transfers :(

soooooooooooooo saddddddddddddd. Tomorrow Sister Davis and I will have to say goodbye to each other. ROUGH. She is going to be getting transferred and  I will be staying. Saying goodbye to companions. Yeah.... it's not the funnest thing but it does create new opportunities and windows for you to grow. Like anything... It will be a "character building experience" just as mom would say.

  ENOUGH of that. On to the great, amazing, eventful, powerful, spiritual, exhausting week that we were able to have as our last week of companions. It has seemed to us that as we have continued to pray for Heavenly Father to pour out his spirit here and to have our faith in Jesus Christ increase.. IT HAS and we have seen blessing after blessing and miracle after miracle whether they be large or small. God has a plan for us and for the people that we talk to, and we have also been working on developing more and more charity for Gods children:) I love the people here and I want to do all that i can to help them know what it is that we have to share. This work is hard but so LOVEABLE. 

 Layla. Such an awesome experience. We have seen so much happening with her and it is interesting to see that when someone is seeking for righteousness that Satan tries his hardest to pull them the opposite way. We were able to FINALLY teach her the word of wisdom which we had been a little worried about, but just before we brought it up she randomly said to us... Now.. I just want to let you guys know that i want to stop smoking. WHAT!? mind blown. We then taught her and she told us that she is going to quit but she really needs our help. TODAY is her day and i know that she will be able to do it with the Lords help. She has such a desire to know truth and that is where it all starts. DESIRE. we have to find those who have the desire to know. 

 Jennifer Michehls baptism. What a wonderful joyous day that it was this Saturday and Sunday Jennifer got baptized!! Wahooo. it was so great. She was so ready and the ward was so supportive and so on top of things. It was a spiritual experience for anyone that was there. I did want to share one thing. all we were worried about was the water being cold for her. We didn't want that to happen. Welllllll Brothers and Sisters. We failed. As she was walking into the font she looked up and said.. "OH its CHILLY" dang! but she did it. and after she came out of the water i swear i have never seen someone so happy in my life. Her face immediately was glowing and she had the worlds biggest smile and she looked totally and completely clean. She is just at the beginning of her wonderful journey and can't wait to go to the temple in one year.:) 

 MIRACLE. We were able to find a member who hasn't been to church in a while and his 2 sons who are 11 and 9 aren't members. BUT they came to church this week and it was great! WE are so excited for them and will be meeting with them SOON. 

I just want to end with saying how truly grateful i am for the love and support that i feel. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know that we are loved no matter what weve done or who we are. Gods love is always there for us. I know that god hears and answers our prayers... but we really do need to listen and that takes work. We must have the desire. 

Love sister norton 

Monday, October 6, 2014

CONFERENCE! Modern scripture :)

"Compared to God, man is nothing.. yet... we are EVERYTHING to GOD"
 I am pretty sure this was said a couple conferences ago but it stood out to me this week. Especially when Pres. Uchtdorf was able to talk about how much God does love us and care for us but it is up to us to LISTEN. That just hit me pretty hard and I have been thinking about it. There always seems to be a common theme to conference and each person will get something different out of it.. because hopefully we each went into it with some sort of question. It is not a bad idea to step back from all the things that we have going on in our lives that keep us separated from God and to really listen to what it is that he wants for us. I know that he is there and aware and is listening. There have been many times where we are talking with someone and all I can really tell them is.. I know that I don't fully
understand what you are going through.. but I do know someone that does and I know he is there for you. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real... and they are there for us no matter what! 

 Conference was amazing.. we were able to watch it at an investigators house for one session which was super cool and then we watched the rest at the church with all the other missionaries. super fun! There were so many great talks and so many things that stood out to me! I loved how a lot of the talks were very centered on Jesus Christ and how he is our Savior, on how the sacrament is a cleansing experience and is a very sacred ordinance, pleasing God and not man, personal and lasting conversion.. Okay... the list could really just go on and on. bottom line is...  THE church is TRUE! 

 Updates. Jennifer is getting baptized this Saturday and she is super ready! We are so excited and happy for her. She has been glowing and glowing and her testimony of the gospel is getting deeper. We will continue to work with her because converts are very important and must not be forgotten about. She will be getting a calling soon and we just cant wait! We were able to meet with another investigator this week and the beginning everything was going wrong.. first of all.. their dog was attacking my companion and biting her and i was trying to help her and there was just barking and screaming and it was no good. Finally the dog calmed down and we sat down with the mom. She began to tell us  how she was too busy and didn't have time.. all I could think in my head was noooooooooo.ooooooooooooooo whyyyyy? we continued to talk and then before we knew it we set up another time to meet with her the following week! AWESOME. the spirit is the teacher and helped us know exactly what to say to her. 

I have grown such a love for the Book of Mormon. the stories that are in it help me all the time. I love being able to read from it with others for the first time and to see them grasp on to what it is saying. we should be reading from it everyday. I know that we will get something out of it each time we read it. That's what makes it so great. It does bring you closer to God. 

Thanks for the amazing people that you all are in my life. Thanks for being so supportive and so loving. Im grateful to be on a mission and to be a representative of Jesus Christ. Its life changing.

love you!!
Sister Norton:)